Thrifting | Things I wanted to buy but didn't... |

Saturday, March 31, 2012

There's a new little estate sale shop front near my house and I finally stopped in the other day. I had no idea what to expect as this particular street doesn't lend to cute little shops. But it was filled with some pretty great stuff and the prices were really great too! Here are the things I found that I didn't buy...though I am thinking on going back for at least one of these items. Can you guess which one?

I love, love, love this little framed vintage print. At $35.00 with prices negotiable I hear it calling me back.

 Brass accents are really trending right now in home decor; personally it just reminds me of the 80's home decor and those days were not good! Not to say this isn't good - I just can't get over seeing the whole 80's home decor style when I see brass wall hangings, in fact I can literally feel the multi-toned brown semi-shag carpet under my feet right now. But for brass art, this one is winning me over. It certainly has a madmen vibe and probably why it was one of the most expensive things in the shop at $120. 

Along with brass, gold is also in, especially gold leafing. This bowl which is on a pedestal base was really gorgeous. For $20 it's a total steal! But did I mention how big it was? Not something I have storage for when I want to change it out.

Pyrex casserole dish + $12.00 + orange = make that two things I want to go back for. But I bet this little beauty has already found a new home at that price.

This is a Morse zig-zag sewing machine, they are really fantastic if you can find one in good working condition because they are able to sew through just about anything. I tried to find a price but it was so heavy I couldn't move it at all from it's little corner to take a look, so i gave up. I don't have room for another sewing machine anyway.

Oh maps! Maps are in - like really in. Globes too. So with this awesome little coffee/decanter set you could meet two very hot trends. It really reminds me of Pan-Am and beckons me to days I don't actually remember but feel like I do in my heart - when flying was a glamorous adventure. Ok, I really do want these, a lot! But again, I just don't have the space to store the 25 glass pieces that came with this set but if you live in Portland and you love all things mappy and globe-y, you should buy this! Sadly I can't remember the price but I think it was less than $55 bucks and that is a smokin' good deal for this complete set. It even has creamer and sugar dishes.

Remember these?! The suitcase record player. I played some awesome story book records on mine back in the day. Later it played some really great old 45's my uncle left behind at my grandparents house. Which now that I think of it is where my intense love of Styx came from. This one I don't think could play anything. It was definitely not in working condition. But it's cute, no?

Vintage Picnic basket 20 bucks! This thing is my kind of picnic basket - it was huge!! It was in excellent condition with a great little wooden flip top. And while this is a big item to have around it could be used to store other things while awaiting picnic time.

 This 1950's wedding dress is just too wonderful! ...and too small. Not the thing I will be going back for but I couldn't help snapping a shot of this amazing dress with it's tailored construction and modest avant garde feel.

Is there anything here that you would definitely go back for?  

Vintage Suitcase DIY Design Inspirations

Friday, March 23, 2012

Every spring and summer I start trolling yard sales & estate sales. One item I almost always find are vintage suitcases. I have actually had to get rid of many over the years because at their price points of only a few dollars I can't seem to pass them up. There's something magical about them. How small they once were - how did people pack so little?? Where have they traveled to? Did they go on honeymoons or business trips? Did they cross the country on trains, planes or in station wagons? Who did they belong to? They seem to be these little square vessels with secret stories stashed in their satin linings and sturdy shells. There are some really interesting ways to reuse cases and put them on display to add a plethora of interest to any room. Here are just a few...

Love this room! Using suitcases under the bed is a cute and functional way to add storage to a bedroom.

Too Cute!

Stack 'em for a side table. Done.

Feeling inspired? Here is a really great tutorial I found for turning a vintage suitcase into a chair!

Make: No-Sew Fabric Light Shade {Tutorial}

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Oh, was I tired of my paper lantern. I have had this one for about 5 years and I have been wanting to replace it for about 4 of those years. I finally broke down this weekend, desperately looking about my house to see if I could make a new light shade to hang in its place. I had an idea to use fabric (I have tons of scraps!) but I needed a frame. Just when I was about to give up I took out my garbage and spied my tomato-plant-cage-thing. And a few hours later I had a crafty new shade! The best part? This tutorial requires no sewing at all!

Now if you have an old lamp shade you could probably use that. Or, if like me, you have a tomato wire cage hanging around...

 Now you can start the fun part!

Cut lengths of fabric to tie onto your frame. I cut the blue-grey fabric 2x as long as the other pieces so I could lay them over the top of the wire, wrap around the back and tie in front. 

Like this: 

Until it looked like this:

And if you like this look you can stop here. I actually like just the few strands of fabric on the metal frame. But I wanted to keep going. 

For my other pieces of fabric I cut them long enough just to place over the front side of the frame and then I simply tied it in the back (instead of the front) so that it created a flat panel of fabric. I did so until it looked like this:

Then I decided to keep going a little further and tried a little trim on it...

The trim is easily attached with a glue gun. Just run a little glue at the base and lay your trim on top, very slightly overlapping the two ends in the back. Don't want to commit to the trim? Pull it around taunt and pin it in the back. 

Here they are all lit up!

I went ahead and kept the orange trim but I think I really do like it best with just the few pieces of fabric on it. That look kind of has a modern farm house feel to it that I am feeling into -and that route would certainly be less time consuming! But the options for putting your own variations on this idea are pretty endless. Using ribbon or bias tape would be a good idea if you wanted smooth edges and to eliminate the time consuming process of cutting fabric strips. Get Crafty!

My new crafty crafting light. (The art in the background is via)

Feeling Blue {Design Inspirations}

Friday, March 16, 2012

Oh this is the time of year for me that time starts a'draggin'. I am waiting - through hopefully the last couple months of constant rain - for Spring and all that I believe it will bring me...which I mainly believe to be a fierce and unstoppable motivation to begin the 1000 projects I have on the mental list I have been preparing all winter. Painting, decorating, gardening... This winter I have been obsessed with the color blue and really want to incorporate a bit more into my living space. In fact I tried by painting one of my wall blues but the color was off. And my blue wall has been actually having me feeling a little blue since. I thought it would be a great clean and calming color for working in but it just isn't warm enough. So I am trying again to find that perfect blue for my living/working space. This battle has been going on for months. I must concede with choosing an entirely new color or find the blue that makes me feel calm and productive by day but relaxed and cozy by night. No, really, that's my criteria.

So, this was the color of my focal wall which I painted blue. But the blue felt too cold after living with such a warm color for so long. So now I am back to square one trying to find a "warm" blue...are you out there warm blue??? I am looking for you.

Here are some of the "blue" designs I have been getting inspired by lately

This isn't exactly part of my plan for incorporating blue but this room is designed so beautifully and these blues are so rich and amazing - it completely inspiring. One part mid-century and one part renaissance painting.

I love how the blue bed spread and the slight blue paint on the distressed headboard give this room such a blue feeling, yet the actual blue in the room is only used in these simple accents. Maybe that's what I need to do??

Love this color! 

This is such a gorgeous teal blue! I wish I would have gone for and am leaning toward in attempt number duex. But I am not sure it would look nearly as spectacular without that graphic print in the background!

 This is very close to the blue that I chose; a littler ligher. I am not sure why it can look so warm and lovely on this wall but not on mine! It must be the to-die-for rust colored leather couch! Me want. Paint: Martha Stewart: Sea Spray Blue

This is semi close to the color of my sofa -  This bright pop of blue is gorgeous.  Paint: Benjamin Moore - Dolphins Cove

This rich and bold blue is amazing - though the carpeting in throwing me off and without a little "more" it feels a bit cold. But it is certainly a fantastic color! Paint: Benjamin Moore - Galapagos

I adore blue with warm wood accents. This bluish-grey is quite warmed up with the raw wood in these retro inspired furnishings.

I think what I am finding in the blues that are most inspiring me is an eclectic theme! Lots of different textures, other pops of color and bold textiles. I think that is what really "warms" up the blues most for me.

So last night, after working on this post for a bit, I went off to slumberland and I had a dream I painted my whole living room orange again! What is my subconscious telling me?! Once you go orange can you not go back to blue? I think I really miss my orange wall!

Anyone have a blue living room they just adore? Color suggestion? I am all ears!

Update: I painted white . . .

Mama'hood {the I love knowing what you think & who you are jar}

Thursday, March 15, 2012

So every once in awhile we need to take inventory on ourselves and parenting certainly tops that list for me. I love being a mom, truly, truly. But there are those moments when I find myself slacking or struggling with something that I don't intend. (These moments are daily by the way and inevitable.) Lately these realizations center around my fourteen year old and our "arguing."

 We are, you know, in the teenage years where a lot of things tend to end up in an argument. In fact last night we ended up in an argument about aliens and I swear I don't even know exactly how it happened! But usually it's about getting things done and generally following through with such things. I find these moments where I am asking him to do something we all know needs to be done, but it's like just he can't do it once I ask - I can actually see the pain and torment on his face when faced with having to listen to me. 

So it often goes something like this:
me: don't forget to...(insert a really simple task)  
him: In a min (5, 10, 15+ minutes later or a week later for a big task like room cleaning) 
me: did you get that done?  
him: I will in just a min  
me: uh, it's way passed the minute I was waiting the first time. Go do it right now, okay. him: ok! Another several minutes go by  
me: ok, you need to go do "that" now.  
him: i knooooow  
me: ok, don't start with the "i know" stuff just go do it.  
him: i will in a minute. i'm going.
me: Uh, no more minutes. Look I don't want to ask you again as much as you don't want me to ask you again, so go get it done and this will be over. If you don't you are going to lose a privileged.  
him: gosh, okay, geez, it's only been 2 minutes since you asked the first time.  
me: Um, no, it's been an hour/days/weeks. Just go do it!!!  
him: No, you just asked me like 2 minutes ago......guuuuhhhhhh. 
 Then my head feels like it's going to pop off my head and roll away so I don't have to partake in this craziness anymore. Good bye head.

So this fun and new dynamic has been driving me bat sh*t crazy for a while now. I always think "he is arguing with me all the time!" And, well, he does, but upon further inspection . . . I have twin 3 year olds but for 10 years it was just him and I. We were two peas in a pod.  I miss how we used to agree about everything and how easy it was for us to "know" each other. Now it's pretty clear whatever I think, he's going to think opposite. Mentally I know he is a teenager and he must not think what his mother thinks, but in my heart I secretly wish there was an exception to this rule; and if there was one it for sure would apply to us ; ) Anyway realizing all this I came to see that I am not 100% listening to his new "opposite" self. Mainly because it freaks me out and tires me out. But that's also because I don't just let him tell me like he sees it without saying something like "when did you start thinking that/being interested in that, etc." And, yeah, that's probably annoying and just eggs him on. Ultimately I keep treating him like the same child or telling him he actually is that person and no teenager wants to be completely defined by their parent no matter how close they are.

And so I think because tasks are not emotional that's where he is trying to stand his ground. That's when the light-bulb went off - because the biggest lesson I have learned in parenting is that when you find yourself battling your children it usually means as a parent you need to change something. Their change is constant and necessary; it is quite literally involuntary but we get stuck trying to interact with them the same way we did 6 months ago or a year ago. Aw, I remember those days. But he wants something different. He wants to be seen as separate from me. And this doesn't mean all the time in every-way. So I figured the issue of the stand-offs around simple tasks we have been having was actually more that...

I still want to be like this...

But it's often a little more like this...

So in the end I decided he can't really help being a teenager - so I guess it's up to me to do something. I think we listen better to people that know us and show interest in us. Something I thought I was doing but then realized I wasn't doing a good enough job just showing interest in him and listening to him. So in an effort to be a more loving parent and keep getting to know my ever evolving teenager I came up with the "I love knowing what you think and who you are" jar.

Here's how it works:

In the jar(s) you place questions and take one out everyday. One jar can be for you child(ren) and one for the parent(s).  You write questions out that prompt some sort of dialog. You can set some limits on this if you want to or keep it totally open. Of course as a parent we should be thoughtful and sensitive as to keep communication open - not to shut it down. But if you make rules, like no judgements can be made, no arguing, no embarrassing questions, you can veto only one question a day and remove it from the jar and you must give as thoughtful and truthful answer as possible. I suggest placing some really simple questions mixed in with some more thoughtful ones. The whole idea is two fold. One it will provide accountably as parents to take the time to talk with your teens about things that go beyond "school" or what do you want for dinner, or reminding them to take out the recycling. The second is that it can perhaps get them thinking about who they are, what they are interested in, what they think outside of themselves and so on.

Here are some examples to ask your kids (again keeping a really wide variety):

What are you most proud of yourself about?
What do you like about yourself?
What is your favorite thing that we do as a family?
If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
If you could play any instrument what would it be and why?
What is your favorite movie?
What is your favorite book?
What is something that makes you feel really good about yourself?
Is there anything you are afraid of right now?
What do you think about reality tv?
What do you think about war?
What is something you do that you feel is really healthy?
What is your favorite website?
What is something you like about (whoever) as a person?
What made you laugh today?
When was the last time you felt sad?
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
If you were an animal what would you be?

Anyway, you get the idea. A sort of 20 questions of sorts, but just one a day.

Let me mention the first few times we did this he couldn't answer even the most simple questions. So I didn't press it - I figured at 14 1/2 I would have thought that was a pretty dumb idea too. But after a few times he started warming up to it - now it's actually fun and it works pretty good. We still have stand offs but they aren't as long and that's a good start.

Spring Into Green {Design Inspirations & Repurposing DIY ideas}

Friday, March 9, 2012

Finally we are getting a little sunshine in Portland! And when the sun does come out I am able to fully appreciate how the rain has produced such rich and vibrant greens all around. To honor this gorgeous color here are some fabulous designs with green as the main attraction. For tips on decorating more green-ly see below.

Via (damien russell - there are so many more fabulous design photos on his site!)

This gorgeous Moroccan design certainly invites the outdoors in the most amazing way!

Prints upon prints and green upon green <3

Chartreuse always makes me feel happy.

To decorate more green aka more environmentally friendly, repurposing is a fabulous way to go! And it can certainly not only give you the ability to create a unique space that's all you, but can also be much more affordable. And with spring and summer coming up it's the perfect time to get started.

 An easy introduction to this is using old /used furniture to either freshen up or repurpose, you can find so many fantastic items at estate sales, friends/family, thrift stores or garage sales.

Here's some great examples I have found on the web to get you inspired. 
Paint: the easiest way to repurpose old furniture. And here's a little tip, older furniture is generally made of higher quality materials (like all wood as opposed to pressed board pieces) and is going to last much longer, cost less and you won't feel bad if you want to repaint in down the road for a new look. This multicolored paint job gives this dresser a fresh and modern look.

Oh, ho I adore this old door that was repurposed into an entryway bench seat and storage space.

Don't have the space to do a big project? I love this little storage unit made out of crates.
Paint and upholster a chair to give it a facelift. And you should seriously check out the link - the makeover she did to her room using mostly repuposed items is simply remarkable and completely inspiring!

 Okay, did this person sneak into my room and give me a fabulous make-over?! I, too, own that bedding, that's (almost) the exact color of my walls and I have a little suitcase like that hiding under my bed waiting to be turned into something fabulous! Love this idea of giving a vintage luggage a starring role. (which i can't seem to pass up these little cases when i find it at yard sales and usually for about $2)

Do you have any repurposing projects you are working on (or want to be working on)?
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